One of the bedrock
doctrines of Mormonism is the Law of Sacrifice. Supposedly
it started right from the beginning when God commanded Adam
to offer sacrifice.
Quoting from the Temple Endowment:
"The posterity of Adam down to Moses, and from Moses to
Jesus Christ offered up the first fruits of the field, and
the firstlings of the flock, which continued until the death
of Jesus Christ, which ended sacrifice by the shedding of
blood. And as Jesus Christ has laid down his life for the
redemption of mankind, so we should covenant to sacrifice
all that we possess, even our own lives if necessary, in
sustaining and defending the Kingdom of God. All arise.
Each of you bring your right arm to the square. You and
each of you solemnly covenant and promise before God, angels,
and these witnesses at this alter that you will observe
and keep the Law of Sacrifice.."
Does this really make sense?
In primitive cultures, tribes would sacrifice all kinds
of things to their Gods, including animals, children, and
pregnant women. They "sacrificed" these things to improve
the weather, overcome their enemies or have good fortune.
Today, Mormons call those benefits "blessings."
Sounds like superstition to me.
The Mormon Church knows that killing animals and children
doesn't do any good. But they still tap into that superstition
by committing the members to sacrifice "all that [they]
possess, even [their] own lives if necessary, in sustaining
and defending the Kingdom of God." Now that DOES do the
church some good. (Look at the SL Tribune case, where the
judge making the rulings happens to be under that temple
As a True Believing Mormon I never questioned the Law of
Sacrifice as a principle. It seemed to make sense that God
required this. And the Mormon version is so open-ended a
good True Believing Mormon can justify sacrificing anything
- including the truth, their integrity and their happiness
- for the church. But now looking back, it seems like the
same old superstitious nonsense practiced by primitive tribes.
Is taking the Mormon Law of Sacrifice seriously a spiritually-healthy
thing? Or does it lead to all kinds of personal problems?
How can you trust anyone who has taken that oath to think
objectively about the church?
Who really benefits from your obedience to the Law of Sacrifice?